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ERIC Number: ED049966
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: N/A
Pages: 7
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Academic Games and Learning.
Coleman, James S.
The aim of this paper is to give some insight into what academic simulation games are, what their goals are, how they accomplish these goals, and how they differ from other ways of teaching and learning. A game is a way of partitioning off a portion of action from the complex stream of life activities. It partitions off a set of players and allowable actions, a segment of time, and establishes a framework within which the action takes place. The game can even be described as a minute social system, and is therefore an important part of the socialization of children. The kind of learning that can go on in a game, is complimentary to, and prior to, the kind of learning that occurs in the standard information transmission model of school learning. Learning in a game is the development of affect toward a new goal; and the transmission of knowledge that occurs in an ordinary classroom is a way of facilitating action toward that goal. The game provides the structure which Jerome Bruner argues is so important to retention and usability of information. In the social studies, a game provides such a structure for action with the most direct impact upon children described as unmotivated. One of the games developed by the Johns Hopkins Games Project gives some idea of what such games are and do. (Author/SBE)
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